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Local

Route 23 fatal crash site to get safety upgrade

Rumble strips, warning lights and signage planned

As seen heading north from Streator on Route 23, the intersection with the Leonore Blacktop was the site of a fatal collision nearly two years ago. The Leonore Blacktop where it intersects with Route 23 is to receive a safety upgrade that likely will include rumble strips, warning lights and signage that cross traffic doesn’t stop.
As seen heading north from Streator on Route 23, the intersection with the Leonore Blacktop was the site of a fatal collision nearly two years ago. The Leonore Blacktop where it intersects with Route 23 is to receive a safety upgrade that likely will include rumble strips, warning lights and signage that cross traffic doesn’t stop.

The site of a fatal collision north of Streator nearly two years ago will be receiving roadway safety enhancements chiefly paid with federal money.

LaSalle County Highway Engineer Larry Kinzer told the LaSalle County Board’s Highway Committee last week that he had received approval for $189,000 in federal Highway Safety Improvement Program funds for the T-intersection at Route 23 and County Highway 5, which also is designated as North 18th Road, and known as the Leonore Blacktop.

On Aug. 15, 2016, Alexandria “Ali” Stevenson, 23, a nurse in Bloomington who formerly was from Ottawa, was killed when her vehicle, northbound on Route 23, was struck by a car driven by Miguel A. Alvarado, 39, of Streator, coming off of the Leonore Blacktop, apparently going through a stop sign into the intersection.

The design for the safety improvements on the Leonore Blacktop likely will include rumble strips, warning lights and signage that cross traffic doesn’t stop.

The project is a 90-10 matching grant, with the federal government’s $189,900 covering 90 percent of the costs, Kinzer said. The county will need to pay the rest.

The site work likely will be performed next year.

Stevenson graduated from Ottawa High School in 2011. She regularly made the honor roll and belonged to National Honor Society. She went on to graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2015, where she earned her degree in nursing. She was a registered nurse at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.  

At Alvarado’s trial last March, prosecutors said he was driving under the influence of an excessive amount of prescription drugs at the time of the accident. Alvarado told police he “fell asleep,” then woke up to find himself in the aftermath of a collision.

Prosecutor Greg Sticka noted one month after the fatal crash, Alvarado was again behind the wheel with drugs in his system when he blacked out and his vehicle lurched into a building in Streator.

Circuit Judge Cynthia Raccuglia sentenced Alvarado to 14 years in prison, of which he must serve about 12 years.

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